What does Homebound mean?

Medicare requires that a patient be HOMEBOUND AND HAVE A SKILLED NEED to be covered under Medicare for home care nursing and/or therapy needs.


A patient is considered "Homebound" under Medicare if the patient cannot leave home without "considerable and taxing effort". Homebound does NOT meant that a patient has to be "bed bound" to qualify.

Most patients have an injury or illness that makes it difficult to leave the home.

For example, if the patient:

1. Requires the aid of supportive devices (wheelchair/walker)

2. Requires the use of special transpiration

3. Needs the assistance of another person

4. Has a condition that leaving the home is medically contraindicated

5. Symptoms of the disease process (such as pain, SOB or confusion) worsen when leaving the home.

A patient may leave the home for a medical absence such as doctor's appointment, medical treatment or for receiving therapeutic or psycho social treatment and still be considered homebound.

The patient may also leave home for non-medical absences if the absence is "infrequent and short in duration". Examples could include: attending a religious service, a trip to the barber/beauty salon, family event or a walk around the block.


Next Blog: What does Skilled Need mean?